Metal detectorist celebrates after 'priceless' brooch is snapped up by V&A

A rare, medieval diamond and gold brooch discovered by a metal detectorist in Northamptonshire has been snapped up by the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Justin Owens discovered the flower-shaped brooch, one of only seven known in the world, at a former royal and aristocratic hunting ground which is now a farm near Brigstock.

The V&A has acquired it, to sit alongside Queen Victoria's coronet andBeyonce's Papillon ring.

The brooch is only the second acquisition the V&A has ever made through the National Treasure Act, with the museum saying it "fills a significant gap" in its collection

The jewelled cluster brooch was cleaned with pheasant and ostrich feathers to limit damage as layers of dirt were removed from the "priceless" object.

Thought to be around 600 years old, it was found in 2017 but its discovery, during an organised dig, has remained under wraps until now.

Mr Owens, who was on the dig with his wife Helen, said he only had to search four inches (10cm) into the ground to uncover the treasure.

"Finding the brooch was a complete surprise - I couldn't believe it. At best I'd hope to come across a Roman or medieval hammered coin on a dig, but to find something so rare and valuable as this was a total shock.

Mr Owens

The brooch goes on display in the V&A's William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery gallery alongside Queen Victoria's diamond and sapphire coronet and Beyonce's Papillon ring, from today.

The V&A said it was not able to reveal the monetary value of the brooch, theonly one of its kind to be found in the UK, but it has been described as"priceless".

Meanwhile, the Museum of London announced that a brooch which belonged to Suffolk-born women's suffrage campaigner Millicent Fawcett is going on permanent display for the first time.

The gold and enamel piece was a gift from the suffragists to their president.